The love of money . . . ain't none of your business...

Error message

We all know that the love of money lies at the root of all sorts of evil. But, of course, we shouldn't ever actually consider or believe this of particular cases. It's a meta truth. Never a particular one.

And so we're left with a strange appendix to 1 Timothy 6:10:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows--but don't you dare apply this to anyone, Timothy. I can because I'm Paul. I'm inspired. You're neither.

Really, what's the point of this verse if we're never to apply it to particular people and events?

If Scripture says, even hyperbolically, that the love of money is the root of all evil, shouldn't shepherds begin here when looking for the root of evil and defection from God's Word, rather than refuse ever to get here?

The Word of God expects us to see the love of money standing behind sinful deeds--not to refuse to look for it. If we want to shepherd in accord with the Word of God, we would do well to start with the assumption that particular sins have their origin in the love of money.

Some years ago it struck me rather forcibly that 1 Timothy 6:10 was the explanation for a Christian singer appearing in risqué photo shoots despite being a mother and apparently happily married to a famous Christian husband. She was lifting her skirt to the sky away from the camera in one shot and dressing like Lady Godiva in another, not because she wanted intimate relations with men other than her husband, but because someone had calculated that risqué promotional photos would promote album sales and she wanted more album sales. The sin was sexual; the motive was financial.

We do the Church a disservice if we cut 1 Timothy 6:10 out of our Bibles.